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Non-destructive biomass estimation of Oecophylla smaragdina colonies: A model species for the ecological impact of ants

Pinkalski, Christian, Damgaard, Christian, Jensen, Karl-Martin V., Gislum, Rene, Peng, Renkang and Offenberg, Joachim (2015). Non-destructive biomass estimation of Oecophylla smaragdina colonies: A model species for the ecological impact of ants. Insect Conservation and Diversity,8(5):464-473.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Altmetric Score Altmetric Score is 3
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IRMA ID 81144320xPUB94
Title Non-destructive biomass estimation of Oecophylla smaragdina colonies: A model species for the ecological impact of ants
Author Pinkalski, Christian
Damgaard, Christian
Jensen, Karl-Martin V.
Gislum, Rene
Peng, Renkang
Offenberg, Joachim
Journal Name Insect Conservation and Diversity
Publication Date 2015
Volume Number 8
Issue Number 5
ISSN 1752-458X   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84940744259
Start Page 464
End Page 473
Total Pages 10
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Field of Research ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract 1. In most ecosystems, ants are a dominant part of the arthropod community. A thorough understanding of their ecological impact, however, has been hampered by limited availability of data on ant abundance. Therefore, we developed a method allowing quick and non-destructive estimates of the biomass of Oecophylla smaragdina colonies in mango plantations.

2. The method was based on assessments of ant nest volume in relation to ant trail density and biomass content in relation to nest volume. The relationships between these variables were modelled using Bayesian latent variable models. The resulting models predicted ant biomass from ant trail activity with a maximum uncertainty of approximately 75% of the predicted value.

3. Five O. smaragdina colonies assessed in a mango plantation, ranged in size from 0.67 to 2.98 kg total ant biomass (fresh wt) and 84.578–376.635 workers for the smallest and largest colony respectively. Correspondingly, the density of ants in the plantation was 254 workers m−2 and a total biomass of 2.0 g ant fresh wt m−2.

4. With this proposed method, estimates of O. smaragdina abundance can be obtained non-destructively with a minimum of workload and it enables the scaling up of physiological experiments on per capita rates. Thus, O. smaragdina can serve as a model species providing information on the impact of ants in tropical ecosystems.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/icad.12126   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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